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Inception extracts an impressive $61.7 million over the weekend (box office)

For a while, I thought I might be dreaming, but Inception is officially a hit. Audiences around the country have recognized a great film for its merits, not its brand. The Christopher Nolan epic brought in $61.7 million from around 3,792 theaters, topping even the best estimates of $60 million. It's the best opening ever for star Leonardo DiCaprio, and probably most everyone else in the film, and also the 2nd best opening for a science fiction film that isn't a sequel. Avatar is first.

I am particularly biased in this case, as Inception is one of the best films I have ever seen. It will be interesting to see if it gets any Best Picture attention. Nolan's last film, The Dark Knight, was nominated for Best Picture. This is a better film than that. Hopefully it will have the legs of Avatar and Dark Knight as well, which both stayed in theaters much longer than your typical blockbuster due to high demand. 

The other big hit of the weekend was Despicable Me (review). In its second weekend, Universal's first computer animated adventure fell only 42% (anything under 55% is good) from its opening, bringing its total to $118.4 million. Not bad.

I can't say the same for The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It bombed with only $17.6 million in ticket sales. It will be very hard to gross enough to cover its $150 million budget with numbers like these. Though a fun movie (review pending), it fell into the same trap as Knight and Day did a few weeks back: it opened on a Wednesday and failed to build interest into the weekend. It's not a bad film, but it isn't a fresh enough concept to woo wary moviegoers. Everyone went to see something else.

The Top 5 are below. I don't usually do Box Office recaps. If you enjoy these, let me know.

  1. Inception $62,785,337 | Total: $62,785,337
  2. Despicable Me $32,803,660 | Total: $118,434,555 (2nd week)
  3. The Sorcerer's Apprentice $17,619,622 | Total: $24,708,059
  4. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse $13,420,480 | Total: $264,791,897 (3rd week)
  5. Toy Story 3 $11,998,276 | Total: $362,965,378 (5th week)

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